What is a boat survey

A boat survey, commonly referred to as a marine survey, is a type of assessment and report carried out on a yacht or ship. The purpose of a boat survey is to ascertain the vessel’s condition and market value. It is vital that only a qualified, experienced and reputable marine surveyor carries out the survey to ensure that the results obtained from the report are reliable.

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Boat survey explained

Locate a credible marine surveyor

The most important stage in getting a boat survey for your vessel is to locate a reputable and experienced marine surveyor to carry out the inspection and write the survey report. You can ascertain the credibility of a surveyor by checking that they are accredited with the appropriate marine authorities including the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS).

Who requires a boat survey?

–          Maine insurance companies

–          Marine finance providers

–          Yacht buyers

–          Vessel owners

–          Commercial shipping companies

–          Recreational boaters

Types of surveys

The type of boat survey you choose to have done is completely depending on the your reasoning behind needing a survey. For example, if you are about to sell your vessel, or you are interested in buying a new boat, then it is prudent that have a thorough and comprehensive marine survey carried out. However, if you need to assess specific aspects of your yacht, then you can request to have a tailored boat survey to target the exact areas you are interested in.

Another reason to have a boat survey performed is by request of a marine insurance company. Usually, when an insurance claim is made on a boat, either by the owner of the vessel or by a third party which has suffered damages,  a marine survey will be carried out to assess the particular area of the vessel that has been damaged.

Performing boat surveys

Typically, boat surveys are performed in two stages.

Stage 1:  This is an ‘out of water’ inspection, which involves moving the vessel to a ship yard so that the surveyor can conduct an evaluation of the boat’s external and underneath structures in a safe environment. The surveyor will usually inspect the bottom surfaces, propeller, shaft, rudder, hull and deck.

Stage 2: This stage is the ‘in water’ inspection, which is where the surveyor tests the vessel’s engine and performs a thorough sea trial.

Depending on the purpose of the boat survey, the surveyor may conduct a standard report, or may provide a detailed forensic analysis of the vessel. Boat surveys are of significant importance as they help to determine whether the vessel meets the necessary criteria and safety standards to operate in a safe and legal manner.